Men’s golf finished third in its home tournament, the Williams Invitational, last weekend. The Ephs fired a two-day total of 605, with a second-round 302 to maintain their position in third place after shooting a 303 on Day One. The men finished 13 strokes behind Salem State (592), who won the competition, and five behind runner-up Manhattanville (600).
The 18-team tournament included several conference foes and served as a preview for next weekend’s NESCAC tournament, which Wesleyan will host. Head Coach Rick Pohle was pleased with how the team competed against the strong competition. “I think it was important for us to play well at home with the quality of this field before heading into NESCACs next weekend,” he said after Sunday’s round.
Both days started cloudy but yielded to warm, humid conditions on the rain-soaked Taconic Golf Course. Due to the large amount of rain the previous week, the greens were relatively soft and slow, allowing for a number of good scores. Nick Zolotas, a senior at Skidmore, made nine birdies over the two days en route to a 143 (71-72), just one stroke over par, and captured individual medalist honors.
Ross Bowen ’14 led the group of young Ephs with a steady pair of 74s, putting him in a tie for sixth out of the 97-player field. Dylan Dethier ’14 followed an opening-round 73 with a less impressive 77, but earned 10th place overall with a combined tally of 150. Matt McCarron ’14, Jake Goldenring ’15 and Cody Semmelrock ’14 each fired closing rounds of 76 to epitomize the consistent weekend for the Ephs. McCarron (78-76) and Goldenring (78-76) finished in a tie for 19th, while Semmelrock (79-76) tied for 24th.
“We played very well over the two days and posted scores good enough to win the event,” Pohle said. “We posted all 10 scores in the 70s and were the only team in the event to do so. For that, I take my hat off to our players. I am very proud of them.”
A number of non-scoring individuals competed for the Ephs as well, including Jake Abrahams ’14, who was near the top of the leaderboard after an opening 73 before fading and posting an 81 on Sunday. He finished with a two-day total of 154. Co-captains Jack Ervasti ’13 and Chris Valle ’12 finished with totals of 156 and 159, respectively. Siwol Chang ’12 carded a 162 and Wyatt Sparks ’13 tallied a 164. Rookies Nate McCue ’15 and Jonathon Dely ’15 showed promise with final scores of 160 and 168, respectively.
The team’s focus now turns to the NESCAC tournament this weekend. Each school in the conference will be represented at Wesleyan. The stakes are high at the tournament, as the top four teams in the weekend’s competition will advance to the spring conference championship, hosted by the NESCAC tournament’s winner. The spring championship also serves as an automatic qualifier for the NCAA tournament.
“We’ll spend the rest of the week fine-tuning things and preparing for the coming weekend,” Pohle said. “Naturally, our goal is to qualify for the [NESCAC] championship and be one of the four teams to advance. Should we play our steady game, we may be in a position to challenge the field for hosting rights of the finals.”
The men, who have not finished behind a conference foe this season, will hope to continue their early successes at the season’s most important competition.